April Album Of The Month: Space Dimension Controller – Welcome To Mikrosector-50

The first time I came across Space Dimension Controller was at ADE in 2012, and I honestly knew his stuff only by name. I knew he was from Ireland, so it’s fair to say that I was a bit thrown by what was coming out of the speakers: the sound of a throaty deep black voice over a Prince-like groove. I had to stand there for a few minutes to see what was going on, but it became clear he was doing a live effected vocal, and it kind of blew me away.

Come through to 2014, and I’ve finally got the album after months of being recommended it, and what an odd, strange, brilliant, crazy beast it is. A concept (ugh) album of sorts, with the ‘Space Dimension Controller’ a futuristic time traveller arriving back on his home planet to odd goings on. It sounds preposterous and daft, but then you realise the guy is in his early 20s, and he’s making music that sounds like a melting pot of Prince, Rick James, Mike Oldfield, Afrika Bambaata, Josh Wink and you start to realise the guy has chops.

On top of that, there’s something quite endearing about an album that reminds me of some of the semi-B-movie films of my youth (think The Running Man and Total Recall). It’s a bizarre package for a 20-something Irishman to make, but I’ve not heard anything like it in the last ten years, and the more I listen, the more it grows on me.

So, here’s April’s album of the month. Listen, enjoy (I hope) and comment away….

7 comments

  1. misterstory

    As always, thanks for the Album Brother Guy. I’ve held off writing … not sure why but I have mostly cause I didn’t have loads to say about it really. I would say that your description is quite inspiring. Even though I’ve not hit it off with this album it makes me want to go and listen to it. Its funny how we come to albums and your live experience was a great way in. I think sometimes coming to an album as cold as we do with the Album of the month is a really bad way to go. My first listen here was not great. As with previous discussion (First Serve comes to mind) I really struggle with ‘skits’ and why this album escapes the skit definition it does fall into the ‘concept’ definition and in this manner the spoken elements bother me. Then they pop up on a track that I otherwise like and they bother me even more. I will admit that i’ve never given this an full listen while not distracted i,e. while walking or driving and perhaps this is part of the issue. Maybe it demands more attention than I’ve given it?

    One thing I do keep thinking is ‘I’d rather be listening to Afrika Bambaata. Which I guess is what happens when you skim a genre. When you don’t know the quirks or the knowing nods of a genre re-boot then it is difficult to justify why you’re not listening to the original? Discuss?

  2. nolankane706

    I think I’m very much on the same tip as Brother Joseph on this. I have given this many goes and kept on thinking…. this is alright, but I’d prefer to be listening to Darkside.

    The hard thing you have when you try and make an album like this is that you are competing against the likes of those who made similar albums but when they were current. I just kept on thinking that this was the brain child of some guy living in Dalston whilst riding his penny farthing, wearing plus 4’s on his way to the latest pop up tea shop to listen to records on his portable vestax turn table.

    With full understanding that I’m contradicting a point I continually make on here about it being OK to sound like other artists… but this isn’t the case. I just don’t think this album is on par with those who they have pulled inspiration from.

    10 points for trying something risky brother Guy but this wasn’t my bag sadly.

  3. David Allison

    So sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. My beloved iMac blew up and died. But here I am with a brand spanking new one having completely bankrupted myself.

    This album is MENTAL. I mean, it’s TOTALLY mental. I don’t even know where to begin with it. I’m kind of full of admiration for it but it also terrifies me. I also can’t work out when to listen to it. I’ve tried putting on as background music while working a couple fo times. No chance! It’s too overpowering. So yeah, for the first time ever, I actually have no idea what I feel about an album of the month. Weird, huh?

    Be good to know a bit more about what you like it specifically, Guy, and when you like to listen to it. I’m intrigued and bemused…

  4. misterstory

    This is becoming a bit of a theme ‘when do i listen to this album?’. I think its such an important question, not ‘what mood do I need to be / want to be to listen to this’ but when do I physically get to listen to this (i) my partner doesn’t like it (ii) my child doesn’t like it / its to sweary (iii) it distracts me from work etc etc

    This is make or break for me and I probably miss out on albums because I can’t get time to listen to them. This is definitely the case for Hip Hop recently.

  5. whyohwhyohwhy

    Interesting reactions brothers, and I did think it would polarise opinion, just not this much! I completely get the comments though, it’s a tough gig this album, and you either really like it (as I do) or it’s just easy to find it, maybe not impenetrable, but just that it doesn’t click.

    I’m still getting to know this album, but having listened 4 or 5 times now, while I get the ‘skit’ style bits and that they can grate, it’s actually all a long seam for me. It works as a whole. I think musically it’s ridiculously ambitious, and yet it kind of gets away with it. There’s all sorts of bits and styles in there to like… P-funk, Prince, house, techno, bits of hip-hop, and each listen makes me discover a bit of something new, and also like a different bit. As I’d said before, the fact it’s like a musical Total Recall vibe for me does give it a biased boost as well. There’s a real b-movie feel to it, but in a good way.

    I do see the whole issue of giving this an uninterrupted hit. I purposely did this the first two goes and it has to really be digested as a whole I think. Listening in chunks it’d just be baffling at times. It’s easy to forget this was made by a guy in his early 20s, which is staggering really, and I think this means I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt much more. I’d argue it’s almost anti-hipster, as it’s nothing even vaguely related to anything ‘cool’ at the moment. It’s really not of its time in many ways. It’s like it was parachuted in from 1998 in a time capsule.

    I definitely want to persevere with it, it really isn’t like anything else I’ve heard in ages.

  6. David Allison

    You’re right, it isn’t really like anything else I’ve heard, and it is an interesting listen. There are two things that are bothering me though – one is a very simple one and that’s length. It is just way, way too long and so many of the tracks would have made nice little 3 or 4 minute dancey sketches, but instead they clock in at 8 mins. It makes for a slightly gruelling listen.

    The second issue is a more complex one, which is that I just can’t work out what this album is supposed to BE. It’s so smart and clever at recreating its influences in a crazy post-modern stew, and you can sit there spotting the different vibes for hours – oh, there’s a Herbie Hancock thing, there’s a deep house thing, there’s a Afrika Bambaataa thing, and so on. But weirdly, I’m not sure it’s actually got its own identity.

    I wonder if he (is it one guy?) could go on to make something more distinctive, because he’s got talent by the bucketload. But this feels like less like a proper album and more like a slightly indulgent creative exercise.

  7. whyohwhyohwhy

    It is really really long, definitely. And I’ve got lost in it a few times as well, and it can drift away. But I’ve not heard anything like it in ages, and it does draw me back.

    However, I will say that it’s clearly the product of a super creative mind. Yes, it’s one guy. It’s pretty loose in places, but I can’t really imagine his next album will be like this. More focussed, perhaps a bit less exciting, but I can’t wait to hear it.

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